The curtain fell on the 2023 Supersport World Championship today as the twelfth and final round drew to a close at the Jerez circuit in Spain. The PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team competed in the last WorldSSP of the season with Tarran Mackenzie, replacement rider Ibrahim Norrodin and wildcard Khairul Idham Pawi.
The lights went out on the final Supersport race of the 2023 season at 12.30pm local time. A revised grid saw Mackenzie line up twentieth, Pawi twenty-third and Norrodin twenty-fifth for the 17-lapper. The riders only reached lap four before a red flag brought the race to a halt due to safety conditions, with a section of air fence requiring repair after a crash for another rider. The race was restarted a short time later but reduced to a distance of just seven laps, with the riders starting from the positions they were in prior to the red flag.
From twentieth, Mackenzie made a strong start, immediately making up three positions. Part of a group of five riders, the Brit was lying sixteenth on lap two. Pushing hard to reach the points zone, Tarran was up into fourteenth by lap four, a position he battled hard to hold to the line to score a final two championship points. Pawi, twenty-fourth on the grid, gained two positions in the early stages and worked hard to pick up the pace and remain in contact with those immediately ahead. He made gradual progress but could only do so much considering the limited laps available, the Malaysian ultimately crossing the line in nineteenth position. Norrodin got away well from twenty-first, maintaining his position through the opening laps before moving into nineteenth on lap three. Unfortunately, the young Malaysian then suffered a highside into turn 5 on lap four and was unable to return to the track, although he was lucky not to sustain any injuries.
At the end of this final WorldSSP round, Mackenzie places eighteenth overall in the championship standings having scored a total of 42 points throughout the season, 25 of which came with his stunning win at the Most track in the Czech Republic. Adam Norrodin rounds out the year twenty-fifth with 20 points.
Tarran Mackenzie P14
“I didn’t feel great in the first heat, before the red flag, so we made a small change to the bike which gave me more confidence. I got a good start and ran a good first few laps, fighting a little along the way and moving to the front of my group. It was only a short race, but I felt good and it’s nice to end the season with points, having not scored any since Most. So I finish the season happy.”
Ibrahim Norrodin DNF
“I made a good start but was pushed wide by another rider. I nevertheless tried to maintain my pace and stick with Tarran but then made a big mistake with my braking into turn 5 and crashed as a result. Very frustrating, as I really wanted to push and score a good result today. I’m fine and not injured but I’m disappointed that I couldn’t finish the race. The team did such a good job this weekend and I’m just sorry that I made a mistake that prevented us from crossing the line. I nevertheless want to thank Midori, PETRONAS, and Honda for giving me the chance to compete in these last three rounds; it’s been a very valuable experience.”
Khairul Idham Pawi P19
“A difficult race but I felt I improved again today and was able to set slightly better lap times, although it was hard to maintain the right race pace and I didn’t have too much grip on corner exit. After the red flag my lap times improved a little more, and I was able to fight a bit more. Towards the end I started to struggle to manage the rear, but overall the weekend has served as good experience, and I want to thank the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team once again for the opportunity.”